Sunday, 8 May 2016

NEW BLOG | Rachel's Rambles


Well , if you've been reading my blog posts for the past few months , I keep mentioning that I haven't been inspired to post like I used to. I tried to incorporate other things into my blog like movie reviews and history posts but I felt like the people who followed my book blog didn't want to see that.  

So I made a spontaneous decision to start fresh with a new blog. I think I should get this out of the way first , THERE WILL STILL BE BOOK POSTS , plenty of them , actually. 

But in between that , I will post about other things I love. I have decided that blogging is about you and what you like , not what others expect from you.

My new blog =

I want to thank everyone who has supported this blog for the past year and a half , it has always shocked me. I hope you continue to follow me on my new blog! 

All of my social media and email links are the same. Except for bloglovin which has changed to this link. 

So there'll be no more posts from Rambling Reads , now to Rachel's Rambles. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

April Favourites

I've been loving a lot of stuff for the past while so I thought I'd write about them! I'm just going to get straight into it!

James Bond

This is pretty random but basically , one day I was home sick from school and I wanted to watch a movie while painting and I don't really know why , but I had an urge to watch some James Bond. I've seen the odd Bond film over the years but I've never really cared for them much but I decided to start with the Daniel Craig ones and work backwards (for some reason...). I'm currently on Tomorrow Never Dies so that's my 6th movie and I am obsessed. Late on the band wagon doesn't quite cut it...


I love musicals and I love history but when I first heard some songs from this show I hated it. That was about 3 months ago but my friend told me to listen to it and I did it just to please her and well , I am now in love with it. I envy anyone who has the chance to see it because I can't even comprehend how wonderful that'd be! My favourite songs are "Burn" "Satisfied" and "The Room Where It Happens". 


Kathleen is a beauty youtuber who makes chatty videos as well! I love watching her tutorials , they're really easy to follow! She is honestly one of the funniest people I have ever watched! 

Cristina Mendoza Rosales 

I also have a character favourite this month. Cristina from Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is such a great character. She's quirky , loyal and brave. She was one of the best things about Lady Midnight and I can't wait to read more about her in the rest of the series. 

Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay 

I got this for Christmas but I have been using it so much this month. I adore glittery shadows and the pink and gold theme for this palette is right up my street! I haven't tried the other palettes but I think that this one is more me.

What have you loved this month?

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Reflections Of Snow White by David Meredith | Review

Genre: Fantasy , Fairy tale retelling , romance
Date published: October 2nd 2013
Pages: 155
Rating: 4/5 stars

What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The concept of "after happily ever after" is what made me want to read this book. I love fairy tales but I have never read any retelling similar to this one. It's more of a continuation rather than a retelling as it plays on the reality that Snow White and Prince Charming would grow old and have human problems. I think that from reading the blurb you can tell that this is going to be a sad book but wow , I did not expect it to be so heartbreaking. 

I flew through this book! It only has 155 pages which is so short in comparison to most books that I read but we get to know the character of Snow White so well and learn a lot about her life. It's absolutely worth the read , I really can't recommend it enough.

This version of Snow White is human. She isn't crazily badass or obviously strong , she's flawed and does stupid things but learns from that and regrets some things from her life , as most people do. 

You really need to read this book! It was one of those reads that make you feel so satisfied that you took the time to enjoy. You can purchase the eBook on amazon here.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare | Review

Genre: Fantasy , YA , urban fantasy.
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Pages: 668
Rating: 5/5

In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

Firstly , this was my most anticipated release for the past two years and let me tell you  , it did not disappoint. Cassandra Clare's other Shadowhunter series are the first YA books I ever read and The Infernal Devices books are my favourite trilogy of all time. If you haven't read any of the other books , I would really recommend reading them before you start this new series. This review is obviously from the pov of someone who has read all of the shadowhunter books and I think that all of the books are more enjoyable when read together. 

So this is the first book in The Dark Artifices and we follow our two primary characters Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs , who we met back in City Of Heavenly Fire when they were 12 years old. They are now parabatai and with that comes many problems and blessings. I really enjoyed the fact that we knew most of the characters in this book already , even if it was 5 years later. It was amazing to see what had changed in the time that you hadn't been reading about them! I also really enjoyed catching up with the old characters like Jace etc!

I felt like I was instantly invested in this new generation of shadowhunters , which is something Cassandra Clare always pulls off brilliantly! I struggled to connect with Emma for a lot of the book but I still really enjoyed her character. One of the great things about Clare's writing is that there are so many characters to love so you'll definitely click with someone! I loved the family dynamic to this book and the love and devotion that Julian had for his siblings brought me to tears many times.

I just want to talk about my favourite character from this book for a little bit as we have never  met her before , Cristina Rosales. She is from the Mexico City institute and she is studying in the LA institute. She is also Emma's best friend and honestly ,she is everything you could ever want in a friend. She's trustworthy , kind , gentle but brave. If you plan to read this book , look forward to her because she was one of the highlights.

Another highlight is that this book is definitely the most diverse out of all of Clare's books. As I mentioned earlier , we meet Mexican shadowhunters for a wonderful change. One of the Blackthorn siblings , Ty is on the Autism Spectrum and another , Dru is described as being bigger than the typical shadowhunter with their warrior like bodies but it's dealt with in a really great way and it's not negative at all! Their Uncle Arthur has a host of mental problems like brain damage. Another brother , Mark is polyamorous and bisexual. I loved seeing how these things are dealt with in this fantasy world!

This book was hilarious and heartbreaking and I never knew what to expect. As usual with Clare's books ,there are so many twists and turns that you never know who to trust or love. I would absolutely recommend this book. It's her strongest first book to date , which is saying a lot because as I said , TID is my favourite series.

Have you read this book or plan to? Leave me a comment! 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory | Review

Genre : Historical Fiction , Adult , Romance
Publishing Date: Touchstone
Publisher: January 1st 2009
Pages: 408
Rating: 4/5 stars

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

White Queen is the first Philippa Gregory book that I have read so I didn't really know what to expect. I also don't read as much historical fiction as I should so this was really a new experience for me. I knew the story of Elizabeth Woodville and of the boys in the tower from documentaries and minimal research so I was intrigued to be thrown into that world. I like that this story has always had so much mystery to it so that Gregory could fill in the gaps and write an intriguing and unpredictable story.

This book follows a large portion of Elizabeth's life , like seriously , one page could cover more than 5 years and people who were newborns in the last chapter are suddenly running around and speaking multiple languages. I think there are roughly 20 years in the 400 odd pages , which I enjoyed but I think that some people might dislike that. 
At the start of the book I did like Elizabeth. She was self important and stubborn but she was ambitious and loyal to her sons and family. By the end I didn't like her as much as she was a 50 year old Queen who had pretty messed up priorities , in my opinion. I did feel sympathy towards her though and I loved how Gregory created a likable protagonist out of someone I didn't like very much from the knowledge I had of her.
All in all , I enjoyed this book! It was slow at times and the ending left a lot open but I think that added to it as much as it took away. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to be thrown into the past or to others like me who adore stories about princes' and princess'. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Forgotten Lives | Women's History Month

As may or may not know , March is women's history month! Ever since I was younger I always wondered why there were statues and memorials for so many men when the only recognition for women was joined together. The example I'm using for this is the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland as it a lot of the centenary celebrations are also this month. People always speak of the men who fought and although they deserved to be talked about , so do the women who have been forgotten over the years!

Women had a huge part in the rising! They fought alongside the men in spite of anyone who disagreed with that. They were one of the first group of women to do that in history.Why don't we talk about that? I've written about two (of so many!) extraordinary women that fought in the rising below.

Countess Markievics was the female leader of the rising. She was the first woman to be elected to the British House Of Commons (she refused her seat!) and she was one of the first women to hold a cabinet in Ireland. She spent most of her life fighting for the right for freedom as a woman and an Irish person. She defied society and even some of her fellow leaders so that Cumann Na mBan were allowed to fight and die with the men. 

Elizabeth O'Farrell was a nurse who joined the women's paramilitary organisation and acted as a courier during the week of the rising. She was one of the last people left in the GPO (One of the main buildings that were taken over.)
When the Irish forces surrendered , it was her and Padraig Pearse that delivered surrender to the British but her involvement has been edited out of history.

A picture was taken of the two of them and she has been removed from it multiple times! Although you can only see her feet , removing her gives the impression that Pearse delivered the surrender on his own. They literally airbrushed her out of the picture and tell the story of Pearse surrendering with no mention of O'Farrell. It's such a significant moment in Irish history and it really shows you how history was told and learned with the women subtly forgotten.

There are countless forgotten stories of women in history from all around the world and it's terrifying that history is still mainly about the men.

Whether you're interested in Irish history or not , I think that this shows how important it is to remember all genders. I encourage you to research women in history. Find something that you are interested in and find out what the women were doing because I assure you , they were doing something! Strong women have existed as long as strong men have and their stories should not be forgotten!

Some links to pages related to this topic: 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Ch ch ch ch changes?

I love blogging but lately I haven't been reading as much as usual and I feel like I can't blog if there are no books to discuss. This has been frustrating me for a while now but it dawned on me today that it's my blog so I can do whatever I want with it. Right now I'm reading and enjoying White Queen by Philippa Gregory but it's a heavy book and I don't want to feel the need to rush it to review it. Basically I decided that I want to change the way I blog and post whatever I want.

Reading is a huge passion of mine but it's only one passion! I love art and history but I never speak of it. I'm getting really into movies and I felt like I couldn't talk about that. Basically I want this blog to remain as a mainly book blog but I want to incorporate my other loves into it as a sort of book/lifestyle blog. 

I'd love to do more movie reviews , photo diaries , art related posts and just general personal features. 

Tell me what you think or if there's any type of lifestyle post you'd like to see!